Faith Matters

Here we will publish articles relating to faith, the Bible, and spirituality – it’s about what we believe, and why it matters.

Reflection – Life giving faith

‘Life giving faith, defiant hope, generous love’ Revd Martin John Nicholls On the mud wall of a small Christian Aid field office in Rwanda I noticed the remains of poster. It was faded and weathered as it flapped in the hot breeze. The words read: “A candle in the darkness is a non-conformist; it says […]

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Noel’s Prayer Page

THE IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER One of the saddest things about the busy world we live in is that regular prayer gets crowded out. The media and advertising dominates so much of our thinking. It is so noisy and melodramatic these days that my wife and I can’t enjoy going to the cinema any more. The […]

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Faith, Hope and Love at Easter

Unlike the celebration of Christmas – no-one actually knows the date of Jesus’ birth – the feast of Easter is firmly based on the calendar. Jesus was crucified around Passover time, as the Gospel-writers make clear. And Passover is fixed around the spring equinox. However, just as a mid-winter Christmas is a powerful symbol of […]

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Eco-Church update

Jenny Newman and I were at the March Synod meeting at Bridgwater. It included a discussion and resolution on disinvesting at the earliest opportunity the shares Synod holds in fossil fuel companies such as Shell, BP and Chevron. There was an alternative resolution which proposed a more ‘softly-softly’ approach involving working together with other parts […]

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A 17th Century Nun’s Prayer Lord, thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older and someday will be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject on every occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs. Make me thoughtful but not […]

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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

A need for unity of purpose and a need to learn more about each other are reasons for praying together. Inter-denominational unity is not a realistic prospect at present. At our morning service on January 20 th Rev Iain McDonald reminded us how the United Reformed Church was formed from two denominations in the 1970’s […]

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Reflection – For Better, For Worse

It used to be simply the name for a bee that didn’t work but could fertilise the queen, or a continuous low humming sound, or part of the makeup of a bagpipe! Nowadays we must add another description of a “drone “ – a remote controlled pilotless aircraft, or in aviation speak, unmanned aerial vehicle […]

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Noel’s Prayer Page – February

Then and Now: 40 Years on In 1979, a British merchant ship rescued a hundred people from a sinking craft in the China Sea: refugees, escaping from their homeland after the fall of Saigon. The British government, in a hospitable mood at that time, set up a reception centre in the heart of England and […]

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advent lunch

Reflection on Hope – December 2018

‘The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight’ – a sentiment from the familiar carol ‘O little town of Bethlehem’. This line surely speaks to us as we face 2019, one of the least predictable years of our history ( – I am writing before the December 11 vote in […]

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Noel’s Prayer Page – December

After the Transition Town AGM held in Glenorchy Church Hall in September, Sarah Allen gave a presentation “On aiming towards zero waste.” Her campaign began last Christmas, when she saw a TV programme about a zero waste shop in Bristol and realised that her own home was full of useless wrappings. Sarah resolved always to […]

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Reflections on Global Warming – November 2018

Seventeen years ago we attended worship in an Anglican Church at the small town of Franz Josef in the South Island of New Zealand. Behind the altar was a plain glass picture window through which, from your seat in the little church, was a stunning view of a beautiful green valley running steeply down from […]

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Poppies for Remembrance

One hundred years since the end of the First World War, this is a special year of remembrance. Since 1921 the red poppy reminds us of the loss of life by those in the armed forces and those who fought alongside them in both World Wars and in subsequent conflicts. The white poppy goes back […]

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